By: Janet Denison
Have you seen the powerful video by Nature Valley? If there were a way to send it to every parent’s computer, I would do it. It is that important! At least God helped me send it to yours today. Stop now and watch. My words aren’t as important as what you will see there.
Okay. What did you think? I want to hear from you, and our Facebook page is a great place to leave your comments. Talk to each other. What are you going to do about what you just saw?
I asked myself what I would do. This was my first thought: I would buy a box with a lock, and every family member, parents included, would use it on a regular basis to create electronic/video-free family times. You won’t know your kids unless you continue to talk to them . . . really talk. Those conversations will probably happen while you are doing something else—together. Your kids won’t know each other or themselves. And your kids won’t know God if they don’t disengage from the artificial and experience the genuine.
It is time to stop worrying about your children’s obsession with electronics. It is time to actually do something about their obsession. Stop reading these words for a minute and talk to God. Ask him with a pure, parent’s heart what he suggests. Then take a few minutes to listen to your thoughts. Which did God author? His thoughts are your perfect answers.
“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known” (Jeremiah 33:3). God has your answer . . . he wants you to know.
“But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you’” (Jeremiah 7:23). Whatever God has told you to do—do that. His ideas are your best help.
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Satan knows that the best way to hurt you is to hurt your kids. He will tempt them to listen to videos because he doesn’t want them to listen to you. Even more, Satan doesn’t want them to listen to God.
The Nature Valley video had a profound impact on me. We just returned from touring historical sites in Philadelphia. I was amazed at the thoughts, the language, and the care our Founding Fathers took in creating documents that would then create the government and society we call America. Paper was valuable, ink could not be erased, and the result was careful thinking before words were chosen and transcribed.
We toured a few properties with mansions and grounds that had once been occupied by members of the DuPont family. Their original work was manufacturing gunpowder. That business grew because of the creativity of those family members. They were artists, musicians, scientists, and thinkers. Each had massive libraries, and all were credited with important patents and inventions.
But there was one common denominator between these family members. Each of these men and their children had a profound love of nature. They had huge, ornate gardens filled with a variety of trees, flowers, and crops. And these men and their families worked, played, read, and walked in these gardens. There were miles of wooded trails, paved paths, benches, and buildings—all designed for enjoying nature and spending time outside, during every season of the year.
What creates creativity? It probably isn’t a video game.
One last verse: “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” (Romans 1:20).
How will your children gain a knowledge of God? God has displayed his power, his nature, his creativity, and his command over all the earth in his creation. When last did your children look around them, pause to think and absorb what they were seeing, then sense the enormous, creative power of God?
How will you make sure that happens this week? I know you are busy. I know it is back to school and the schedule is overwhelming. I know your kids are tired and stressed and so are you. And I know God is more important than anything else that is happening in your lives this week.
Ask him to help you show your kids his “invisible attributes, his eternal power and divine nature.” God is visible in his creation. Are your kids noticing God’s presence in their lives? They won’t see him if they are looking down at a video game.
Don’t feel bad. Don’t feel guilty. Don’t feel powerless or ashamed. That is Satan’s guided response. Do something. God’s Holy Spirit will tell you when, how, and what to speak. That will be God’s response and God’s message to your kids.
Will they like having their video game interrupted? Does that really matter? They didn’t like it when you handed them over to a nurse so she could give them a shot. But you did it because that was best for them. That parenting principle doesn’t change just because the kids do. Soon, they will learn that God’s thoughts are so much better than a video game!
Did you just doubt what I said in this article? Don’t. I would have thought my words were “out of touch” or “impossible” too. But, have you read First15 lately? I know it isn’t easy. But, the things of greatest value rarely are.
Lock up the screens and help your kids experience God instead. Their souls are worth the battle!